About Session | Design
Forethought India hosted an online talk session on Design in India. A world-renowned professor working at the Rhode Island School of Design shared their knowledge during this session.
Topic: Repair in Design Thinking and Interior Architecture
Video Link: https://youtu.be/bN88xdOZ36c
Markus Berger, Professor of Interior Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, is the principal of the Providence-based art/design workshop, `The Repair Atelier.` Berger is a co-founder and co-editor of the journal Int|AR, which encompasses issues of adaptive reuse, preservation, conservation, and spatial alteration. He also serves on the editorial board of the journals INTERIORITY (Indonesia) and SISU-LINE (Estonia).
Through his work as an artist, architect, designer, editor, and writer, and through his research and teaching, Berger critiques conventional architectural thinking and practices. He explores how art and design modifications and interventions can activate change in the built environment. Forms of modification, transformation, intervention, reuse, and repair are central to Berger`s research and work. His recently published essays include `Death of the Architect: Appropriation and Interior Architecture` in INTERIORITIES (Interior Reader, edited by Gregory Marinic, Routledge, 2017) and `Imagination as an Act: Extended Realities in Interior Urbanism` in The Interior Urbanism Reader (with M. Grugl, Routledge, 2020).
His areas of academic interest include forms of modification, transformation, intervention, as well as reuse and repair. According to Berger, taking over something already existing (an ordinary object or another work of architecture or art) to make a new work initiates a whole set of radical potentialities. Appropriation unsettles ideas of single authorship, originality, and authenticity established by traditional art history, and putting the `old` and the `new` together in inventive configurations set into motion the many possibilities of recontextualization. In architecture and art, appropriation unsettles our preconceived notions of things/objects and their place in time, showing us the creative potential of rendering multiple points of view and non-linear time. Appropriations as acts of intervention have thus destabilized established meanings and created new ones.
Berger`s current work through the Repair Atelier engages discarded spaces, buildings, objects, and materials by deconstructing and reinterpreting them to find new meaning, form, and expression, rather than seeing them as unwanted or broken. The initial forms uses, and stories of these objects, as well as what was lost from them when they were discarded, are a central part of this critical inquiry. The process of reconstruction or remaking responds to these stories and inquiries and, through appropriation, imbues each of them with an identity that is both it`s own and one shaped by the new and vital relationship Berger establishes between maker/appropriator and object.
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